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We Made Baldur


Municipal Official William Stark



An early comer to Argyle, William Stark was a well- educated Scot who immigrated to Canada about 1878, and worked for the C.P.R. in Montreal for a short time. In 1879, he was attracted to the prairies and homesteaded NE 5-4-14, pre-empted SE 5-4-14 and purchased 6-4-14. Once settled on his farm, he built a home and helped others to immigrate to Canada.

A bachelor, William, was always a welcome visitor. Because of his great store of stories and jokes he was often in demand as a chairperson for local concerts.

When the R.M. of Argyle was formed, William became the first secretary-treasurer, establishing the municipal office in his home. He served from February, 1882 to February 1889. He was renowned for his beautiful penmanship and was often asked to write records in family Bibles and to do correspondence for less well-educated neighbours.

The  Baldur Gazette in  1899 reported that:

“(upon the formation of Argyle Municipality)… Mr. Wm. Stark was appointed clerk and treasurer, a position which he held for several years and by his uniform kindness and obliging manner won golden opinions from the ratepayers of Argyle.”

When, after 25 years on the prairies, William returned to his relatives in Scotland. He was sorely missed by his Canadian neighbours.

Adapted from Come into our Heritage, page 654.

The Settlement Experience : William Stark

In 1881 William Stark travelled by ox-car from Emerson the to what is now the Rosehill District.   Settlers squatted on the land they occupied and when it became necessary to lay claim they were obliged to file at Deloraine 90 kilometres away or Morden, 105 km distant and had to journey 120 km to Emerson with a grist.

They endured many hardships and privations, battling with cold in winter, terrible heat and mosquitoes and slow labour in summer and protecting their stock from beasts of prey the wolf and bear.

The first in the region was that of Wm. Stark 6-4-14 and the first church services were held there conducted by Rev. Hoskins, Methodist, and Rev Currence, Presbyterian, were carried on until 1899 when the Roseberry School accommodated the gatherings.

Our Heritage  People / Index